The 7 Best Rocking Chairs and Nursery Gliders to Soothe You and Your Littles in 2022

The Evolur Raleigh Glider, Recliner, and Rocker is our top pick for its multifunction capability, clean look, and comfortable design.

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Evolur Raleigh Glider, Recliner and Rocker in Misty Grey
Photo: Amazon

Having a comfortable place to sit, feed your little one, and soothe them is essential, and rocking chairs and gliders are sometimes the coziest options for the job. If you take the time to buy the best rocking chair or glider for your nursery, it's a piece of furniture that is great for reading books during toddlerhood and beyond.

Comfort is the ultimate consideration according to our experts and parents. "Positions that support the feeding person's back and arms are important for a comfortable and successful infant feeding session," Tina McGeough, MPH, RDN, CDE, LCCE, CLC, a mom of two and owner of Blooming Mom in New York City, tells Parents. "Whether feeding occurs in a chair that moves or is stationary really depends on the feeding person and the baby's preference."

Not only should your rocking chair be comfortable, but you might want to consider the style, footprint, durability, and value of this item. Some chairs are more budget friendly and less frilly, while others come with plenty of bells and whistles and at a higher price point.

Our top pick overall is the Evolur Raleigh Glider, Recliner, and Rocker because it allows for multiple ranges of motion, has a high supportive back, and is a stylish piece of furniture that will be pleasing to the eye for years to come.

Here are the best rocking chairs and nursery gliders of 2022.

Our Favorite Nursery Rockers and Gliders

Best Overall: Evolur Raleigh Glider, Recliner, and Rocker

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Amazon

Also available at Wayfair and BuyBuy Baby.

Why We Like It: This chair provides ultimate adaptability, since it can glide, rock, and recline. Its high back also accommodates feeding partners of many sizes.

But Take Note: Over time, or if not put together properly, the chair may produce a squeaking noise.

The Evolur Raleigh Glider, Recliner, and Rocker ranks first on our list because it has multiple functions as a feeding chair, allowing you to use the chair in a way that best meets the needs of your baby and you. If you simply want to rock or glide, you can do so easily with your feet on the floor, as the chair sits at a comfortable height, even for shorter people. The chair can turn around a full 360 degrees and feels stable when doing so thanks to the sturdy metal base.

The high-back chair is the perfect height for caregivers of varying heights to rest their heads, and it turns into a recliner by simply pushing backwards against the chair back. "[Parents are] going to spend a lot of time there, so making sure [their] back isn't aching or it's not hard to sit in is crucial," says Aubrey Phelps MS, RDN, CLC, a registered functional perinatal and pediatric nutritionist, certified lactation counselor, and mom of three. "A chair that has a high enough back that mom can rest her head easily is ideal, too."

To release the footrest, you simply pull on the side lever, which you will find right above the convenient storage pocket. The Raleigh chair is made of an easy-to-clean polyester fabric and is filled with foam that provides just the right amount of supportive cushion for feeding sessions. It comes in a variety of subtle and beautiful colors to match your home.

This chair has won multiple awards in recent years and would be a perfect addition to your home. To note, this chair does require purchasers to assemble it themselves (tools are provided) and if not assembled properly may produce a squeaking noise.

The Details:

  • Dimensions: 31 x 32 x 39 inches
  • Product Weight: 84 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Wipe clean with a damp cloth

Best Budget: Storkcraft Hoop White Glider and Ottoman

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Amazon

Also available at Walmart, BuyBuy Baby, and Target

Why We Like It: With just enough (but not too much) cushioning in the seat, this glider is a great pick. It is also affordable yet durable, promising many years of sitting and use.

But Take Note: It is a touch on the small side and may not accommodate all feeding positions.

It is easy to see why there is so much praise for the Storkcraft Hoop White Glider and Ottoman. When choosing a glider to soothe a baby, finding one that does not produce a jerky motion is key, and this chair delivers on an exceptionally smooth movement. Plus, the ottoman glides, too! It's easy to relax and feel supported in this wood-framed chair, thanks to the generous padding in the seat, arm, and ottoman. The cushions themselves are made of easy-to-clean polyester and come in a variety of fun colors. The chair is incredibly affordable but still comes with special features such as two side pockets and the ottoman.

"I did not use a rocker or glider because it wasn't in my budget," Nikki Hunter Greenaway, NP, IBCLC, a nurse, lactation consultant, and mom of three, tells us. "And I can imagine it's not in a lot of people's budgets. I want parents to find comfortable spots in every room they want to feed their babies in."

The chair does not have a large footprint, so it can fit in smaller rooms, but the narrow construction may also impact feeding positions and space for the caregiver. Keep in mind that it also does not recline or spin around. Greenaway would agree that "a glider or rocker that features narrow seating or high arms may not be comfortable for a parent that needs to do football hold or cross cradle [for feeding]. The comfort of the parent is key. In my experience, the parents' comfort dictates the ultimate comfort of the newborn and the success of the feeding session."

The Details:

  • Dimensions: Glider: 27.5 x 40 x 29 inches; ottoman: 20 x 14.5 x 16 inches
  • Product Weight: Glider: 31 pounds; ottoman: 14 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Spot or wipe clean

Best for Twins: Mack & Milo Delgado Reclining Rocking Glider

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Wayfair

Why We Like It: The extra wide seat can comfortably accommodate multiple babies or allow for nursing pillows and other accessories right at your fingertips.

But Take Note: Be aware that the footrest may be difficult to close, especially if your arms are full with two babies.

For some families, the bigger the better! If you are a parent of multiples, then the wide size of the Mack & Milo Delgado chair may catch your eye. Many chairs have a side-to-side width of 30-40 inches, but this rocking glider boasts a measurement of 60 inches wide. This roominess can be especially beneficial if you are nursing or feeding two babies at once, or if you like to get into different positions with your legs tucked up on the chair.

Nursing pillows and blankets—or even an older sibling—would also easily fit in the chair with you. Christine Sterling, MD, a mom of three, board-certified OB-GYN, and founder of Sterling Parents, shares that the chair she chose was also quite wide and large as she enjoyed having her other kids sitting with her during nursing sessions.

The Delgado has a classic but modern design and is made of a soft velvet twill fabric. You can comfortably rock in a gentle motion or extend the back and footrest to recline with ease, but it does not swivel. A hidden latch opens the footrest, a measure to protect little fingers. Just watch out when you've got a sleeping baby in your arms: The footrest may require some force or produce noise when you close it.

The Details:

  • Dimensions: 41.75 x 39.25 x 36 inches
  • Product Weight: 87.08 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 225 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Dust with a soft, dry cloth, or use a professional cleaning service

Best Rocking Chair: Pottery Barn Kids Charleston Convertible Rocking Chair and Ottoman

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Pottery Barn Kids

Why We Like It: For a rocker, this chair has a low profile and clean appearance. The rocking legs can even be removed to transform it into a traditional armchair.

But Take Note: It is a large, heavy chair.

Rocking chairs are the quintessential nursery chair, but some people do not like the slim, wooden profile of traditional rockers. For something a bit more modern comfortable, look no further than the Pottery Barn Kids Charleston Convertible Rocking Chair. The frame is a solid hardwood, so it is structurally sound and very durable. The runners have a unique, low-to-the-ground profile, as well as small knobs on the front and back that keep the chair stable as you sit down or stand up with a baby in your arms. Phelps agrees that this stability for getting in and out of a chair is essential "when trying to also hold onto a newborn and recovering from a C-section or vaginal delivery."

The chair's seat is firm yet still plush, and the rounded arms are slightly smaller than traditional gliders while still supporting you and your baby. This chair's fabric is Greenguard Gold Certified, which means it has been evaluated by a third party to determine that it doesn't emit high amounts of volatile airborne chemicals. Be mindful that this chair does weigh substantially more than other rocking chairs, so it will be difficult to move it around or between rooms.

As a bonus, if you no longer want a rocking chair, you can purchase extra feet that will transform this into a traditional armchair.

The Details:

  • Dimensions: Rocker: 34.5 x 37 x 36 inches; ottoman: 23.5 x 22.5 x 18 inches
  • Product Weight: Chair: 64 pounds ottoman: 21 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Spot clean with a damp white cloth, blot to remove excess water, air dry

Best Recliner: Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Amazon

Also available at Target and BuyBuy Baby

Why We Like It: We love the electronic reclining feature and USB power source for charging your electronics.

But Take Note: This chair is most certainly an investment piece.

It's time to let a nursery chair do some of the work for you! The Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner allows caregivers to sit back fully and relax. Dr. Sterling notes that feeding a baby can be draining work, and support needs to come from everyone. Why not get an ultra supportive chair with features that make feedings easier too? The quiet reclining mechanism lowers the headrest and raises the footrest with a push of a button on the inside of one of the chair arms. Right next to the reclining button is a USB charging port, so you never need to worry about your phone battery dying in the middle of a feeding session. This recliner is quite plush and made with eco-performance fabric that is water-repellent and stain-resistant, which makes cleaning up a breeze.

This chair swivels 270 degrees and glides quietly, so you can soothe your baby in a variety of ways. The chair is also easy to assemble, or it can arrive fully assembled, based on where you make your purchase. Babyletto prides itself on using foam that is free from heavy metals, phthalates, and potentially harmful materials and wood from sustainably managed forests. Due to the high standards and deluxe features, this chair is one of the more expensive options on the market. You can purchase a Kiwi gliding ottoman separately.

The Details:

  • Dimensions: 36 x 29 x 41 inches
  • Product Weight: 123 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Use a cotton cloth and non-toxic cleaner

Best With Ottoman: Carter's by DaVinci Adrian Swivel Glider With Storage Ottoman

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Buy Buy Baby

Also available at Amazon and Wayfair

Why We Like It: The dual functionality of this chair's ottoman makes it a standout: You can put your feet up while also storing baby essentials inside and out of the way.

But Take Note: The chair's low height may be uncomfortable for tall people..

Save some space by stashing a few must-have feeding items or other essentials literally right beneath your feet with the DaVinci Adrian Swivel Glider and Storage Ottoman. Rather than having a cart or night table stacked with burp cloths, pacifiers, nipple cream, and more, you can store those items inside this space-saving ottoman, and once you have what you need, you can kick up your feet and relax. McGeough suggests keeping a phone, a bottle, and maybe even an iPad and charging port in said storage compartment. The ottoman is easy to open and made of the same soft, high quality fabric as the chair, which is water repellent and stain resistant, and it doesn't emit potentially harmful chemicals.

The chair turns around 360 degrees and smoothly glides forward and backward to rock the baby to sleep. A lumbar pillow is included, but if it's not to your liking, you can always swap that out for one of your own. Keep in mind the short dimensions of this chair—taller folks may find it doesn't support their head and neck.

The Details:

  • Dimensions: 32 x 25 x 37.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 97 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Use a light foam cleaner for the upholstery

Best Swivel: Delta Children Avery Swivel Glider

Rocking Chairs for Nursery
Joss & Main

Also available at Wayfair, Amazon, and Walmart

Why We Like It: This chair produces a smooth 360-degree swivel, allowing you to reach things that would be out of arm's reach if you were fixed in one position.

But Take Note: The firmness of the cushion may not be comfortable for some people.

Some babies prefer to spin and swivel, while others prefer to glide back and forth. Luckily the Avery Swivel Glider from Delta Children has the ability to move both ways. This chair is a classic nursery piece that moves and looks incredible. The metal gliding mechanism is hidden from sight but produces a very smooth motion and allows the chair to spin effortlessly. This swivel glider has a generous seat width and depth, allowing the caregiver to feed in multiple positions or keep things by their side while in the chair.

You can choose between four neutral colors that will complement most spaces in your home. The fabric is durable and easy to clean. Be aware that the foam seat cushion contains pocketed coil support, which for some translates into a firm chair that is not comfortable to sit in for hours—something you may find yourself doing with a newborn.

The Details:

  • Dimensions: 38.75 x 34.75 x 33.25 inches
  • Product Weight: 80 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Care Instructions: Only mild, water-free cleaning solvents; no water, bleach, or dry cleaning

How We Selected the Best Rocking Chairs and Gliders

We researched and evaluated dozens of chairs from various retailers, as well as used our own experiences as parents. The expertise from lactation consultants and other parents also informed how and why we selected these chairs. Specifically, we looked at characteristics such as style, size, bonus features, overall footprint, durability, and value.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Rocker or Glider

Glider vs. Rocker

The two most common types of nursery chairs are rocking chairs and gliders. Rocking chairs move in a strong forward and backward arc motion, and the strength of the rocking motion that these chairs allow for can be particularly effective for soothing a fussy baby. They come as the classic wooden chair or a more plush modern style. One downside to a rocker might be that the footprint is quite large; it needs enough room to rock fully on its arc without banging into any walls, so space needs to be a consideration with this chair. Rockers can also be a safety concern when your little one starts crawling or walking because the runners stick out. Little ones can bang their heads or pinch their fingers on these parts if unsupervised.

On the other hand, gliders produce a smoother back-and-forth motion and make very little noise. They are quite compact, and sit on a fixed track that can sometimes lock into place as an added safety feature. They can come with an ottoman, might recline, and may have the ability to swivel 360 degrees. Gliders are limited in the motion they can produce.

Support and Comfort

All of the mothers and lactation consultants we spoke to said that comfort was the number one priority when selecting a nursing or feeding chair. Some level of padding is usually going to make your experience more enjoyable and comfortable, so pay attention to this for wood-frame rockers in particular. However, a glider that is very plush and feels as though you "sink" into it may actually not be the most supportive and can be difficult to get in and out of with a baby in your arms.

You will also want to consider the chair depth and the ability of your feet to touch the floor. Allowing enough space on your sides will also be helpful for certain nursing positions. The chair back height is another consideration. If you and your partner are both going to participate in feedings and one of you is taller, you likely want a chair with a higher back that can support the taller person's tired head.

Finally, support can come from the chair itself, but parents should also receive support from other family or friends who are involved in taking care of your new baby. Dr. Sterling emphasizes this and has made it her mission to provide an online supportive community for parents.

Does It Squeak?

You finally get the baby to doze off and are about to stand up from your chair and transition them to the crib, when—"Uh-oh!"—the sound of the chair wakes up the baby! Having a chair that is quiet can be very helpful. If you have a wooden rocker, you might want to consider putting down a rug for wooden floors. For gliders, it can be helpful to test out the reclining feature to see if the open and close mechanism is loud or quiet.

How Easy Is It to Clean?

Let's just say things can get messy during and after feeding sessions. Babies may spit up, milk can leak or spill, and diaper blowouts happen unexpectedly. You may want to look for a chair that is an easy-to-clean material. Microfiber and leather are particularly easy to wipe down and may even come with a stain-guard layer. Cushions that can be removed and washed are also a helpful feature.

Other Features

Middle-of-the-night feedings can be particularly draining, and you may want to put your head down while the baby feeds, so a chair that reclines can put you in a position of utmost comfort and relaxation. Certain nursing positions, such as a laid-back or reclining position, can also be easy and comfortable in a reclining glider. Phelps personally dealt with an aggressive letdown, so the reclining position was key for pacing the feeding and keeping the baby more comfortable. While a reclining feature is helpful, McGeough reminds us that falling asleep with a baby on top of you is dangerous, so be mindful of this when considering comfort-level during feeding.

Feeding sessions can sometimes take quite a while, and this may start to put pressure on your back or hips. Putting your feet up on an ottoman may relieve that pressure. For shorter people, an ottoman can also help you rock or glide better, should your feet not reach the floor comfortably. Plus, some ottomans can even function as an extra storage space!

Sometimes you may get "stuck" hanging out in your chair for quite a while, so it is a good idea to have some essentials nearby. A chair that has pockets can stash the TV remote, a phone charger, books, burp cloths, nipple pads and cream, a water bottle, and snacks.

How to Use Rocking Chairs and Nursery Gliders Safely

Wherever you choose to feed and soothe a baby, it should be a safe place. Some safety considerations for rocking chairs and gliders would be:

  • Do not leave a footrest in the upright position.
  • Ensure there is nothing under the footrest space when you go to close it.
  • Keep adult and child fingers clear of the footrest lever or chair base.
  • Do not place a feeding chair too close to window curtains, a heater, or shelves with items that your little one could pull off.

Your Questions, Answered

Do I need a rocking chair or nursery glider?

Absolutely not! Greenaway feels, "It's just 'one more thing' we are telling parents they need to be successful in feeding their baby." In reality, successful feeding is best accomplished when the caregiver and baby are comfortable. So, this could be in a supportive chair designated for feeding, or it could be on your couch.

"I think it's a hugely personal preference and [the parent's] comfort is the most important thing," Phelps says "I knew I needed something that reclined due to my particular nursing needs, but also wanted something I could use to just hold and rock the baby

How do you clean a nursery glider?

Wherever you care for a baby, things will inevitably get messy. To clean a nursery glider, you can simply wipe down the fabric with a damp cloth to remove the initial mess, and if you need to take things one step further, you could treat it with a non-toxic cleaning product. Over time, you might want to get a vacuum into small crevices where nursing snack crumbs may have fallen, or even consider a steam clean of the cushions.

Who We Are

Casey Seiden, MS, RD, CDCES, is a prenatal and postpartum dietitian, as well as a mom to a young daughter with another baby on the way. Her personal experience nursing and feeding her daughter in many different environments, as well as conversations with lactation consultants and moms, helped inform her for this article.

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